Mass killings of migrant workers
Parliament condemns, State in the news for the wrong reasons, again
Source: The Sangai Express / Manipur Info Centre

New Delhi, March 19: Describing as "shameful" the killing of 14 Hindi-speaking migrant labourers in Manipur, the Union Minister of Home Affairs Shivraj Patil today assured that "strict action" would be taken against the people involved in the incident.

Replying to supplementaries in the Rajya Sabha, the Minister said, "Such incidents in the name of States, religion, language are happening in North Eastern, Southern and Western parts of the country.

It is a deliberate design to destabilise the country and slow down the economic growth".

In a reply to CPM leader Brinda Karat's query as to what strategy was being adopted to check such incidence, the Minister said State Governments had been asked to identify areas where such incidents could take place and also identify people who indulged in them to take anticipatory action.

"To protect innocent people police needs to take anticipatory action.

Chief Ministers, bureaucrats and police officials of States have been asked to follow up and take action," he added.

In Manipur, militants gunned down 14 migrant labourers, mostly from Bihar, since Monday night.

Most of the bodies had a piece of paper stuck to them saying "go back to your home States".

Taking part in the discussion Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi today assured the Lok Sabha that the Centre would deal firmly with terrorism and the culprits involved in the murder of 14 Hindi speaking people in Manipur this week.

When the members of all parties raised concern over the spread of violence in the name of regionalism and language, the Minister said that he would convey the anguish of the members "directly" to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh whose Government was already seized of the matter and would take strict action against the perpetrators.

On the issue of terrorism, the House was one and there was no question of casting aspersions.

It was a great concern for the House that there was a "selective target" in the case of Manipur, he said.

Raising the issue in the pre-lunch sitting, Ramjilal Suman (SP) said the Centre had failed to discharge its duty of protecting the integrity of the country.

There is a parallel Government in Manipur.

This was a very serious issue as similar violence had taken place in Assam and Maharashtra.

Shahnawaz Hussain (BJP) said the Union Home Ministry continued to remain a mute spectator to the violence against Biharis settled in various States.

Devendra Prasad Yadav (RJD) said terrorists were taking advantage of regional feelings of the people and sought a joint operation by the Centre and the Manipur Government.

Prabhunath Singh (JD-U) sought the removal of Mr Shivraj Patil as Home Minister and the convening of a meeting with Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Mohammed Salim (CPI-M) asked the Centre to treat the issue very seriously as there could be attacks on people of the North-East settled in various parts of the country.

Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI) said the country would not remain united if killings were allowed to continue in the name of regionalism.

He demanded an all-party meeting and immediate deployment of Central forces in Manipur and Assam.

Earlier, yesterday informing the Lok Sabha about the killing of 14 persons in Manipur during the Zero Hour, Dr Thokchom Meinya, MP from Inner Manipur Parliamentary Constituency urged the Union Government to intervene and extend all possible help and support to Manipur.

Dr Meinya said, "We have many armed insurgent outfits operating in the North Eastern Region.

In this region, even the official bungalows of the Ministers and MLAs are being attacked with grenades and bombs.

Moreover, one grenade was thrown into the precinct of the Legislative Assembly of Manipur recently".

He said that the situation appeared very acute and out of control.

Not a single day passes without killings.

In such a situation, the Centre should not become a silent spectator, he added.